Our Team

Shalini Da Cunha

Executive Director

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    Shalini da Cunha is the Executive Director of the Peel-Halton Workforce Development Group. She has led this organization since 2001. Shalini brings extensive experience in leading collaborative work with a multitude of key stakeholders in Peel and Halton, including funders, settlement agencies, employers, educators, among many others. Shalini is a member of the Central Planning Table of the Peel Newcomer Strategy Group, a group that looks at the interest of all new immigrants to Peel. She also pioneered the NewComer Organizations Network, which has become a platform for discussion and input for over 150 members who work directly in the employment and settlement sector for new immigrants. Shalini also sits on the Accreditation Review Panel of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council and is a member of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) Shalini has a BSc in Business/ Computer Science from the University of Stockton, California and worked in information systems management in the hospitality industry for the Hilton International before branching out to the non-profit sector.

Janet Alphonso

Assistant to the Executive Director

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    Janet Alphonso joined the Peel Halton Workforce Development Group in 2015, bringing with her over 10 years of experience in both corporate and non-profit worlds. Prior to joining PHWDG, Janet served as a Program Support Officer at Sherdian College and at the WMI Group as a Merchandise Administrator. Before coming to Canada, Janet held various administrative and marketing positions in Dubai and India. Janet holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from The University of Mumbai, as well as continuing her education through the following coursework: Project Administration, Project Management and Human Resources. Janet is a highly successful business office administration professional with core abilities in office management, operations, finance and public relations.

Saira Gillani

Lead Employer Specialist

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    Saira Gillani joined the Peel Halton Local Employment Planning Council in October 2016. She has extensive experience in post-secondary teaching, recruitment coaching, and career counselling. A valuable member of the Talent Hub team, Saira continues to focus on expanding service coordination between employers, EO service providers, and community stakeholders to improve the labour market condition in Peel/Halton regions. Saira holds two master’s degrees in Management Sciences as well as Social Science/Labour Studies from McMaster University. During her Master’s program, she was part of a community-based research project with the City of Hamilton Neighbourhood Action Strategy that focused on youth. Saira also authored a research paper which discussed the impact of the ‘Glass Ceiling’ effect in the workplace.

Subhi Tarim

Research Analyst

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    Subhi Tarim joined Peel Halton Workforce Development Group in May 2018 as Research Analyst. She brings several years of experience in research and policy field, having worked as policy & research specialist, policy intern, and research assistant in academic, government, and non-profit sectors. Subhi holds a Master of Global Affairs degree with a specialization in global economy and markets from Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in gender studies and political studies from Queen’s University.

Anca Andronic

Employer Specialist

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    Anca Andronic joined the LEPC Talent Hub team in May 2019. She is a certified Career Development Practitioner professional with over 10 years of experience working in employment services sector. She brings a strong labour market knowledge and awareness of the job seekers and employers’ challenges in the recruiting process in relation to the demographic and economic aspect of the labour market in Halton and Peel areas. Anca conveys a wealth of knowledge in supporting clients from various backgrounds through federal and provincial government-funded programs. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Language and Literature, a Post-University Diploma in International Affairs and two Post-Diploma Certificates in Career Development and Leadership Skills. Anca’s specialties are: Group Training and Facilitation, Learning & Development, Employment Counselling and Labour Market Research.

Juan Alvarez

Research Analyst

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    Juan Alvarez joined the Peel Halton Workforce Development Group in 2019 as a Research Analyst. Juan brings a wealth of experience in the employment, settlement, and youth portfolios with a particular focus in the non-profit sector. In addition, Juan has direct experience working for the federal government at Employment and Social Development Canada under the Employment Insurance program. Academically, Juan holds a Social Service Worker diploma from Humber College, a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and a Master of Public Policy, Administration and Law from York University.

Claudia Policarpio

Communications Specialist

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    Claudia joined the Peel Halton Workforce Development Group in 2019. Before becoming part of the PHWDG team, Claudia worked in Healthcare as a job coordinator for the Carecor Staffing Agency. Graduating from the University of Toronto Mississauga with an Honors Bachelor in Communications, focusing on Media Studies and Graphic Design in addition to studying Political Science. Much of her work experience has consisted of community outreach, advocating and developing workshops for youth initiatives across the GTA including financial aid, financial literacy and youth employment.